How a text message could save an elephant or a rhino from a poacher

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
January 15, 2013



Soon a text message may save an elephant's or rhino's life. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is implementing a new alarm system in some protected areas that will alert rangers of intruders via a text message, reports the Guardian. Elephants and rhinos have been killed in record numbers across Africa as demand for illegal rhino horns and ivory in Asia has skyrocketed.

The new alarm system will send a text to rangers whenever someone—or some animal—is attempting to break through a fence. The text will include coordinates of the break-in. KWS believes that new system could cut poaching by 90 percent.

Unfortunately the alarms will not be set up in every protected area in the country. Some parks are not fenced in and others are simply too large for such an expensive system.

Recently, Kenya lost an entire family of elephants to poachers in Tsavo East National Park. Eleven elephants, including a calf, were shot-down and their tusks cut out. This was considered the worst elephant poaching incident in Kenya ever.

Kenya is home to populations of the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), and the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis). The African elephant is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List; the white rhinoceros, Near Threatened; and the black rhinoceros, Critically Endangered.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (January 15, 2013).

How a text message could save an elephant or a rhino from a poacher.

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0115-hance-elephant-text.html